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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3,483 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dexter Filkins Narrator: Dexter Filkins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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"How they happened and why, how they've succeeded and failed. The Forever War is not that kind of book: rather than argument or hand-wringing, Dexter Filkins offers us a kaleidoscopic tour of the great conflicts of our time. Through his eyes as a reporter on the ground, we witness the events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, led to the September 11 attacks in 2001, and culminated in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The Forever War will provide a visceral understanding of the War on Terror, its victims, the people who fight it and the way these people feel. It captures the human experience - and tragedy - of war.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Dexter Filkins's The Forever War is the best piece of war journalism I've ever read. He paints a portrait of war that is so nuanced, so filled with absurdities and heartbreak and unexpected heroes and villains, that it makes most of what we see and hear about Iraq and Afghanistan seem shrill and two-dimensional by comparison. And yet, as tragic as the events he describes are, the book manages to be a thing of towering beauty. Dave Eggers, Guardian Best Books of the Year

    "The Forever War is already a classic–it has the timeless feel of all great war literature. Dexter Filkins’s combination of courage and sensitivity is so rare that books like his come along only once every major war. This one is ours.
  • “Dexter Filkins is the preeminent war correspondent of my generation, fearless, compassionate, and brutally honest. The Forever War is his astonishing story. It is one of the best books about war that I have ever read. It will stay with me forever. Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide
  • Dexter Filkins has seen the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan; he has stood in the ruins of the World Trade Center; he has been in the heat of battle in Iraq; indeed, no one else has been closer to the action than this courageous and thoughtful observer. This is a sensational book in the best sense. Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    "Stunning...it is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the 'culture' of a war...This unforgettable narrative [represents]...a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war's history.
  • Gut-wrenching and touching . . .Mr. Filkins’s stories are those of a writer willing to endure hardship, danger and anguish to paint an accurate picture of war for the American public . . . His prose is as blunt as it is powerful. Lee H. Hamilton, The New York Times
  • “Filkins . . . is a courageous reporter and an original writer . . . The narrative holds together through the power of his writing . . . The Forever War is an astonishingly good book. Evan Wright, LA Weekly
  • “Addictive . . . [Filkins is] a master of the moment, of the concrete, of texture; where others try to explain, he wants you to know what being there feels like . . . I couldn’t put this book down. Craig Seligman, Bloomberg
  • “Dexter Filkins . . . is well on his way to becoming the preeminent war reporter of this tumultuous era . . . His understated prose offers a stiletto-sharp account of places he’s gone and people he’s met. John Marshall, Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • “Wonderfully written and carefully researched . . . Filkins’s meticulous attention to detail and his bravery . . . [are] evident on every page . . . The Forever War . . . serves as a powerful lesson in what it takes to cover the complexities of war . . . [Dexter Filkins] has put himself in the middle of this madness to deliver a stunning and illuminating story. Chuck Leddy, Christian Science Monitor
  • “[Filkins is] the real deal, a reporter’s reporter . . . his brave and stunning new book . . . pulses with prose so lean–whipsawing between brutality and beauty–that it takes your breath away. Paul Grondahl, Times Union
  • “A chilling and ethereal narrative of loss and the promise of loss. Jim Chiavelli, The Boston Globe
  • “Phenomenal . . . The Forever War makes the war in Iraq so real, so haunting, that you’ll want to sleep with the book next to your bed and read it in every spare moment until the last page. It does what a great book about war, loss, politics, and sacrifice should–it moves, shocks, entertains, educates, and inspires. The Forever War is peerless–a classic. Genvieve Long, The Epoch Times
  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic. Vanity Fair
  • “Extraordinary . . . if what Michael Herr brought back from Vietnam in Dispatches was a sort of Jackson Pollock–streaks of blood, trickles of dread, splattershot of hard rock and harder drugs–The Forever War is like a pointillist Seurat, a neo-Impressionist juxtaposition of spots of pure color with black holes and open wounds. John Leonard, Harper’s
  • “The definitive–and heartbreakingly humanizing–report from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . The Forever War [is] about all wars, everywhere–and a book that will be read fifty years from now. Andrew Corsello, GQ
  • “Dexter Filkins is one of war writings’ modern marvels, a writer of tremendous gifts and appropriate grit to go where others will not.
    Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press
  • “The best war reportage you are apt to read in a lifetime. Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times

    “Unflinching . . . Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on . . . This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq . . . Filkins doesn’t lecture, he just reports, in great and perfect detail.
  • “[Filkins is] an almost absurdly brave war correspondent . . . his brilliant, sad, unique book . . . may be the most readable book about Iraq. It’s certainly one of the most artful. . . We’re the better for it. Hilary Frey, The New York Observer
  • “Brilliant . . . The Forever War . . . deserves to be ranked as a classic . . . and is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them . . . Thanks to one reporter’s heroic act of witness and brilliant recitation of what he saw, we can see the war–as it is, and for ourselves. Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
  • “A kaleidoscope of images and intensity . . . It is written in finely honed bursts of vibrant color that capture the peculiar culture of the war . . . It is a raw and riveting account . . . his honesty in portraying the war implicitly exposes the hollowness of the platitudes used in Washington to defend it. Chris Hedges, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “Splendid . . . it shines as a work of literature, illuminating the human cost of war. Bing West, The Washington Post
  • “Rich with details both grotesque and sublime . . . The Forever War is a masterpiece of nuance. Matthew B. Stannard, The San Francisco Chronicle
  • The gaping wounds of Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a torrent of words, but no single volume so far has the precision and power of The Forever War . . . Filkins’ set pieces have the absolute clarity of lightning flashes that burn away the fog of war. Time Best Nonfiction Books of 2008
  • Not since Michael Herr in Dispatches . . . has a reporter written as vividly about combat as Filkins does from Afghanistan and Iraq. USA Today 10 Best Books of 2008
  • Filkins’s meticulously constructed vignettes . . . illuminate and humanize the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Los Angeles Times Favorite Books 2008
  • The Forever War . . . achieves a gripping, raw immediacy. The Boston Globe’s Year’s Best Books
  • Harrowingly detailed . . . Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the ‘war on terror.’ The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2008
  • “Stunning…This unforgettable narrative represents…a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war’s history.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Splendid. Washington Post Book World Best Nonfiction of 2008
  • “Unflinching…Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on…This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq.”

    Time

  • “Thanks to one reporter’s heroic act of witness and brilliant recitation of what he saw, we can see the war as it is, and for ourselves.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Not since Michael Herr in Dispatches…has a reporter written as vividly about combat as Filkins does from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    USA Today

  • The Forever War…achieves a gripping, raw immediacy.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Splendid.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War is the best piece of war journalism I’ve ever read. He paints a portrait of war that is so nuanced, so filled with absurdities and heartbreak and unexpected heroes and villains, that it makes most of what we see and hear about Iraq and Afghanistan seem shrill and two-dimensional by comparison. And yet, as tragic as the events he describes are, the book manages to be a thing of towering beauty.”

    Guardian

  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Extraordinary…If what Michael Herr brought back from Vietnam in Dispatches was a sort of Jackson Pollock—streaks of blood, trickles of dread, splattershot of hard rock and harder drugs—The Forever War is like a pointillist Seurat, a neo-Impressionist juxtaposition of spots of pure color with black holes and open wounds.”

    Harper’s

  • “The definitive—and heartbreakingly humanizing—report from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan…The Forever War [is] about all wars, everywhere—and a book that will be read fifty years from now.”

    GQ

  • “Dexter Filkins is one of war writings’ modern marvels, a writer of tremendous gifts and appropriate grit to go where others will not.”

    Associated Press

  • “A kaleidoscope of images and intensity…It is written in finely honed bursts of vibrant color that capture the peculiar culture of the war…It is a raw and riveting account…His honesty in portraying the war implicitly exposes the hollowness of the platitudes used in Washington to defend it.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Rich with details both grotesque and sublime…The Forever War is a masterpiece of nuance.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Dexter Filkins…is well on his way to becoming the preeminent war reporter of this tumultuous era…His understated prose offers a stiletto-sharp account of places he’s gone and people he’s met.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “Wonderfully written and carefully researched…Filkins’s meticulous attention to detail and his bravery…[are] evident on every page…The Forever War…serves as a powerful lesson in what it takes to cover the complexities of war…[Dexter Filkins] has put himself in the middle of this madness to deliver a stunning and illuminating story.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • Winner of the 2009 Colby Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction
  • A 2008 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2008 Washington Post Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 USA Today Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Boston Globe Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • Selected for the October 2008 Indie Next List
  • A 2008 ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2008
  • Winner of the 2008 Cornelius Ryan Award
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mary Gail O'Dea | 2/20/2014

    " One reviewer says that every war has a book like this and this is THE one for Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not theory or opinion, but a day-by-day by a reporter embedded with troops. It is a book about he little triumphs and the little terrors experience by our sons and daughters overseas and by our Iraqi fellow planet dwellers. It is moving, it is important, it is gripping. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brad | 2/7/2014

    " This book was devastating. Filkins delivers his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq right to you, in a raw and straightforward way. It gives you the feeling that there's a spider web of people and cultures and nations involved in this struggle, but the web is fractured at every intersection, completely disconnected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maria | 1/23/2014

    " Excellent, thought-provoking read. As I read this book I found myself swimming in memories as these wars have been part of my life for so long. Filkins is an excellent writer. I found that he was able to describe things as they were without interjecting much (if any) political leanings. Anyone wanting a more clear understanding of what war looks like should consider this book to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Helen | 1/22/2014

    " gives you great perspective on what is going on in the middle east. it seems unbiased, but one can never be too sure. it is amazingly written and certainly a page-turner. "

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